Whole frosted cake on cake stand, wooden table, loose walnuts

Carrot Birthday Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American



For the carrot cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs (room tº)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled (grated carrots (about 6oz))
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored, and diced small)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the maple cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 packages (8oz cream cheese, softened)
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar (or as needed)
  • 1 cup whole walnuts (toasted, for filling and decoration)
  • Maple syrup


For the carrot cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour (or spray) a 7-inch cake pan with removable
  2. bottom.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder and soda, and spices into a bowl and reserve.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter for 1 minute. Gradually add both sugar beating continuously, for 3 or 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix.
  6. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with water and milk in 2 additions. Do not over mix.
  7. Add carrots, apple and cream and mix just until combined.
  8. Fill cake pan with the batter, smooth top and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until tester inserted in center comes out clean. It might take more depending on the pan.
  9. Let cool completely on wire rack and then unmold.

For the maple cream cheese frosting:

  1. In a bowl beat cream cheese and butter until very smooth.
  2. Add 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Add maple syrup, and then add more sugar until you have a thick mixture good to frost.

To assemble:

  1. Cut cake into three layers. Reserve 8 walnut halves for decoration.
  2. Put the first layer on the cake stand or serving platter, and fill with about a cup of cream cheese frosting. Add a handful of coarsely broken walnuts, and a big drizzle of maple syrup.
  3. Repeat with the second layer, the frosting, walnuts and syrup.
  4. Add the top layer and frost with a layer of cream cheese mixture. Make a swirl on top and decorate the sides with 8 half walnuts, one for each slice.
  5. Serve with extra maple syrup.


Carrots - you can peel them or not. And I recommend grating them with a large-holed grater and at the last moment. That way they retain the moisture better.

Apple - I use Granny Smith (green ones) usually, but any baking apple works well.

Spices - adjust to your preference or to what you have available.


Keep the layers refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen for a month, well wrapped of course. It's always a good idea to fill and frost layers that are cold. It's easier and there's less chance of the cake falling or breaking. Final cake: keep in the refrigerator, well covered.

Keywords: carrot layer cake, carrot birthday cake